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Sales through online retailers are expected to rise by year-end: Sanjay Vakharia

Established in 1992, Spykar has come a long way and has defined the rules of the fashion arena. From what started as solely a men’s denim brand sold at multi-brand outlets, Spykar has expanded its portfolio to become a one-stop shop for casual wear ensemble for both men and women – available pan India across 200 exclusive outlets, 900+ multi-brand outlets, all key large format stores and e-commerce portals. Besides online, Spykar has over 2,000 points of sales across 350 towns and cities of the country.

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With stores closed and people not being able to shop physically, the apparel industry has been hit during the pandemic period. Instead, online shopping has gained pace. With the lockdowns being lifted gradually after the second wave of COVID-19, the situation is expected to return to near normalcy soon, with people returning to the shops. Revenge shopping and retail therapy after weeks of being confined to homes is also expected.

Spykar as a brand has been growing year-on-year. There has been significant support from the consumers to ‘Made in India’ and home-grown brands like Spykar. Even during the pandemic, the brand claims to have had good engagement with the customers.

As a business, Spykar makes sure that their consumers connect well with the products that they offer. The consumers’ feedback and their transparency with them is important for the company.

Where the lockdown is in place, availability has certainly been impacted, in other places, their spring-summer collection is available and getting good traction.

In conversation with Adgully, Sanjay Vakharia, CEO, Spykar Lifestyle, speaks about the brand’s focus during pandemic times, Spykar’s media strategy to have a greater top-of-mind share, Spykar’s core value and more.

What is the media strategy that you are looking at to maintain top-of-mind share?

We have always believed in constant engagement and communication with our audience. We thought long term during the first wave of the pandemic and continue to do so. While the lockdown may affect sales, we are ensuring that we do not affect our communication with the audience. Be it relevant occasions, topical days, festivals or social media campaigns; we have kept the buzz alive and that has helped us maintain brand recall even during a difficult time.

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How has Spykar fortified its engagement with the youth in India?

Spykar as a brand primarily targets young people; our core value is to be bold, responsible and restless. It resonates well with the fashion sense of today’s youth. We serve our audience their staple, which is fashion by keeping ourselves updated with the youth’s changing demands, their tastes and moods, and the latest in trends.

How is your role as CEO undergoing a major transformation amid the pandemic and an increasingly digital-first focus?

As the stores are closed and there is no sign of physical shopping, we are focusing more on our website and other e-commerce platforms through which we sell our products. Our online platform is seeing a huge surge in this current situation and I believe sales through online retailers are expected to rise by the end of the year.

As a leader, I am focusing on ensuring we sustain the business, retain the talent, and partners as we need to look at the long term vision as a brand and business and treat the current period as a tide that we need to sail through.

In an omnichannel world, how has the content role of CEOs been intensified?

My leadership thought is to ensure that our business keeps up with our consumers’ ever-changing behaviour and buying preferences to sustain this momentum well into the future.

What are the new ideas for creating effective branding in a volatile world?

According to me, brand strategy is the foundation of building a brand. Most businesses overlook that and jump directly into marketing. I believe consumers’ overall perception of our brand Spykar is more important than what we think of ourselves. Our focus is to stand out from the other brands and deliver efficient products to satisfy consumers. This will automatically build positive image through positive feedback from the consumers and thus, engage them in a better way. This will also influence others who are new to our brand.

Given the constant flux in consumer behaviour, especially in pandemic times, what is your go-to strategy to understand your customers’ unique wants and needs?

My strategy is simple – to ensure uniformity. The consumer may not always know what they want, but they know what they need. Spykar is up to date with the trends and choices. We have best products and offerings according to the season’s requirements to fulfill that need.

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